Stabat Mater

Duration: 8'

texts: A. Roland Holst, gregorian requiem mass and Stabat Mater

mezzo-soprano, male choir, accordeon ensemble

Commissioned by Muziektheater De Plaats, Arnhem

Premièred on july 2nd 2010 during Ommetje Lingezegen at Maria van de bloeiende Betuwe Chapel near Bemmel by Gerrie de Vries, Elster Mannenkoor and AVAAZ selectie orkest conducted by Marcus de Haard. 

This piece was part of a series of short music theatre pieces performed in a rural area between Arnhem and Nijmegen. The scene took place around a small chapel in the middle of a field where at the end of World War 2 a fierce and brutal battle took place. Lots of soldiers form both sides lost their lives there.

Most of the members of the male choir were born in this area and some of them were little boys when the battle took place. Now most of them were in their 70's.

The scene started off with the choir spread out over the field singing parts of children songs and nursery rhymes in dutch, english and german. While singing they moved slowly towards the chapel where the accordeon ensemble and mezzo-soprano where situated. The choir singers eventually formed a circle around the audience, repeatedly singing the word 'dolorosa'.

In the second part of the piece the mezzo-soprano is singing a poem by Adriaan Roland Holst, urging the listeners to be mild and gentle towards each other. The choir comments with short phrases taken from the gregorian requiem mass and the Stabat Mater.

 

O quam tristis

Laten wij zacht zijn voor elkander, kind –

 et afflicta

want, o de maatloze verlatenheden,

die over onze moegezworven leden

fuit illa benedicta,

onder de sterren waaie' in de oude wind.

 Mater Unigeniti!

O, laten wij maar zacht zijn, en maar niet

het trotse hoge woord van liefde spreken,

want hoeveel harten moesten daarom breken

onder de wind in hulpeloos verdriet.

 Eia, Mater, fons amoris
 me sentire vim doloris
 fac, ut tecum lugeam.

Wij zijn maar als de blaren in de wind

ritselend langs de zoom van oude wouden,

en alles is onzeker, en hoe zouden

wij weten wat alleen de wind weet, kind –

 Quando corpus morietur,
 fac, ut animae donetur
 paradisi gloria.

En laten wij omdat wij eenzaam zijn

nu onze hoofden bij elkander neigen,

en wijl wij same' in 't oude waaien zwijgen

binnen één laatste droom gemeenzaam zijn.

 In paradisum deducant te Angeli:

Veel liefde ging verloren in de wind,

en wat de wind wil zullen wij nooit weten;

en daarom – voor we elkander weer vergeten –

laten wij zacht zijn voor elkander, kind.

 et lux perpetua luceat eis.

 

 A. Roland Holst

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